Oklahoma State football: OSU, TCU quarterback cursed teams
Two teams that have been cursed at quarterback this season play in Stillwater on Saturday. OSU vs. TCU. The Cowboys’ problems are injury-caused, as you know. TCU’s problems are behavioral in nature.
Frog quarterback Casey Pachall is off the team and out of school and now in rehab after a drunk-driving charge a few weeks ago. Pachall was an effective quarterback — he led the Frogs to an 11-2 record and the Mountain West Conference championship — and TCU was 4-0 this year when he left the team.
Backup quarterback Trevone Boykin took over, and TCU lost 37-23 at home to Iowa State. But since then, the Frogs have played well — a 49-21 rout at Baylor and a triple-overtime, 56-53 loss at home to Texas Tech.
Meanwhile, OSU is the only other Big 12 team this year to lose its quarterback. Kansas and Iowa State have swapped out QBs at times, but by choice. OSU had no choice when Wes Lunt suffered a knee and ankle injury against Louisiana-Lafayette; J.W. Walsh took over and played well. But Walsh suffered a knee injury Saturday against Iowa State, and now the Cowboys apparently will go back with Lunt. If he’s not able to go, third-teamer Clint Chelf takes over.
Quarterback health is paramount to a team’s success. Kansas State without Collin Klein, West Virginia without Geno Smith, OU without Landry Jones, Tech without Seth Doege, those teams would be vastly inferior to the standard that has been set.
But as both OSU and TCU have shown, there is life after the loss of a starting quarterback, and it has to do with the quality of offenses. Both the Cowboys and Frogs have continued to produce offensively. TCU, in particular, has been impressive, since Boykin’s debut against Iowa State came with only two days notice and he had spent part of that week working out at wide receiver.
Walsh was at least focusing on quarterback while backing up Lunt, and Walsh shined even though the Air Raid offense is not particularly lined up with his skill set.
When Lunt returns, no one really expects the Cowboy offense to take a dip. It’s a high-functioning system that apparently lets a quarterback succeed quickly. If Chelf takes over, that theory will be put to the test.
“It’s difficult as a coach when you lose a player,” Mike Gundy said. “We don’t know why these things happen.
“Wes has practiced with our team in team settings for the last couple of weeks. Clint and Wes will both get reps this week. At the end of the week, we’ll decide who will play on Saturday. Clint’s a lot like J.W. He can run some and is a good play-action pass guy. We’ll have to see where we are at the end of the week.”
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